Alphabet Launches Chronicle, A Moonshot Cybersecurity Company

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Alphabet has launched a new cybersecurity company – Chronicle – aimed at spotting hackers more accurately. The new cybersecurity company has popped up out of Alphabet’s X Moonshot group, and is now a standalone entity under Alphabet.

Is it just another AI-based cybersecurity company?

Alphabet aims to offer primarily two services through Chronicle – a security intelligence and analytics platform for enterprise and Virus Total, the online malware and virus scanner, which was taken over by Google in 2012.

Chronicle will be headed by Stephen Gillett, former CEO of Symantec. In a blog post, Gillett stated that the company would integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning to “help enterprises better manage and understand their own security-related data.”

The Chronicle CEO notes that it will run on Alphabet’s infrastructure and use machine learning clubbed with advance search capabilities to help businesses analyze their security data. Further, the company states that all the services would be offered in the cloud, helping them to expand as per the organization’s needs without adding another “piece of security software to implement and manage.”

It surely does not sound like a moonshot kind of thing. Rather, Chronicle appears to be another addition to the list of cybersecurity companies that already offer AI-assisted threat detection. However, there are more hackers in the cyberspace world compared to the security personnel available to defend the system against them. Therefore, the scope of artificial intelligence powered cybersecurity companies pumps up.

Chronicle – how it’s different

In a separate blog post, highlighting the need of a company like Chronicle, Captain of Moonshots, X – Astro Teller – said that organizations offer a string of security tools to protect themselves, and their security teams are highly skilled and extremely dedicated. However, they cannot match up with the growing advancement in the attacks.

“Solving this problem isn’t simply a question of time and trusting that we’ll catch up eventually. We have to start fresh and look at the problem from new angles,” Teller said.

Further, Teller notes that the critical information that the security teams need to identify and investigate the attack is already present in the organization’s existing security tools and IT systems. However, it is wrapped under an enormous chunk of data making it difficult to identify, he said.

“The reality for most companies today when it comes to cybersecurity is reactive: find and clean up the damage. The real moonshot, which is still several years away, is predicting and deflecting cyber attacks before they infiltrate an organization’s network,” the executive said.

Google is already a very big name when it comes to uncovering major threats. Google researcher Neel Mehta was among the ones to find a connection between the WannaCry ransomware attacks and a North Korean hacking group. Also, the recent Intel bug, which made chips vulnerable to hacking, was discovered by Jann Horn of Google’s Project Zero. So, it will be interesting to see how Chronicle further advances and leverages Google’s name.

Meanwhile, Chronicle is moving forward quickly, and the company has already started hiring, informed Gillett. Further, there are companies that are already testing the platform to provide feedback. Gillett stated that by making available technologies at affordable prices, the “good guys” would have an advantage to turn the tide against cybercrime.

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